Monday, November 8, 2010

The next visit to the Uber-Ortho

Doc (in Vietnamese accent): "How you now?"

Me: I'm not any better. I can't move my knee, I can't run and I can't cycle. And my knee swells every day. I'm not happy.
Doc: You need to move more. Why you not doing more?
Me: Because I CAN'T. I have no range of motion and a lot of discomfort. I have felt every single step for the past almost 7 weeks.
Doc: Lie back. Tell me when and where it hurts. (Proceeds to bend, twist, wiggle and kind of jerk my knee in all possible positions. I was sweating by the end) Your right leg is much weaker than it was last time. Much weaker.
Doc: Sit in chair. Bend left knee as far as possible. (pause) Now do right knee.
Me: This is as far as it goes (around 90*).
Doc: Pull with hands. As much as you can.
Me: (groaning) This is as far as it goes.
Doc: Back on table. You have fluid in knee and lots of inflammation. I will drain you and give cortisone.
Me: Ummm. OK then.

10 minutes later. The tech comes in and cleans my knee with betadine, and sets out a 60cc syringe with an 18 gauge needle on it. I know this, I use those things. It is a fairly large bore needle. Not trauma large, but....

Me: I don't think I want to watch this.
Tech: We don't really want you to watch, either.
Me: I'm good with that.

10 minutes later. Doc and Tech come in and we are all one big happy family gathered around Sarah's knee.

Me: So, how much is this going to hurt?
Doc: Less than blood draw if you don't move. He hold foot (and Tech grabs hold of my foot). If you don't move, won't hurt. (Inserts needle) Only hurts when people move and then needle move and then that causes pain, but if you don't move, there is little pain. (Massaging my knee all this time) I just need a little time to get fluid out. You feel that now? That is cortisone going in. And now we finished. (I start to move) No, don't move yet. He has to clean you up. Come back and see me in 6 weeks. Don't do too much for a day or too, let cortisone take effect. Oh, and get Physical Therapy. That will be best for you. Make appointment for 6 weeks. (Leaves) For the record, I give blood on a fairly routine basis, and this hurt much less than that. Doc was right.

Me: So, what can I do today?
Tech: (cleaning my knee and applying a lovely bandaid) Anything you want.
Me: Seriously?
Tech: Yeah. I mean, don't go running or cycle 100 miles, but yeah, you can do what you want. Ok, we're all done here. You can put your shoe back on. (Hands me my shoe)
Me: (bending my right knee to put my shoe on) HOLY CATS!!! This is the first time in almost 7 weeks that I can bend my knee enough to get my shoe on! This is amazing!
Tech: (grinning) Yep.
Me: (looking at syringe with lots of yellow fluid in it, about 20 cc's worth) Wow. That's a lot of fluid.
Tech: Yeah, it really is. Knees aren't supposed to have much fluid in them.
Me: Well, thanks for your help. See ya in 6 weeks.

I walked out of that appointment without a limp for the first time in almost 7 weeks. I got into and out of my car without having to manually help my leg. I climbed and descended stairs almost normally. It was simply amazing how much difference draining the excess fluid made in my life. I had been getting concerned that 1) it was all in my head, and 2) I was going to need surgery. Now, I am hoping that physical therapy and a good leash on my "go out and do it until I can't ignore the pain anymore" tendencies will have me up and running again.

I am walking now. I walk as fast as I can for 5-8 miles on my days off. I am going to start getting up in the wee hours to walk 3-4 miles on the days that I work. Walking isn't running, but it is aerobic exercise, and doesn't seem to bother my knee. It bores me, but I don't care. It seems safe and sensible. I am going to start swimming again. I was going to swim today after my walk, but the pool heater was broken, so the pool was closed. I have my bathing suit and goggles in my gym bag, tho. I will walk and swim until I can run again.

I will cycle just as soon as my right leg is stronger. Now that I have the fancy clippy pedals, the difference in leg strength manifests itself in how I ride. I feel like the bike is "skittering" under me sometimes, and it frightens me. I don't want to ride scared, because that is when you fall and get injured. But I am diligently doing my little PT exercises (yeah, I went ahead and made the appt before the doc told me to), and eventually my quads and hammies will be equally robust. And then I will walk and swim and cycle.

I miss running. A lot. For me, it is like losing a best friend. All those early morning, mid-day, and evening miles have gotten me safely through a lot of drama and trauma. People ask me what I think about during all those hours when I am out running. The fact is, I don't really think about anything. I don't dwell, obsess, problem-solve, organize or plan. All sorts of errant thoughts run though my head, and I have a constant tour-guide (Oh, look at the pretty flowers -- I wonder what they are...what kind of car is swans are really neat looking..i hate this stretch of road...i think i may have to pee soon....that is the prettiest house in the world). I have a hard time running when I am really upset, because I can't find my tour-guide. I have learned that for me, running is a "be here now" state. It is a sanctuary of sorts -- a smelly, sweaty, fatiguing sancutary. This is what non-runners don't understand. Running centers my life, it gives me an anchor in my day to day. I am always better, and at my best, when I run.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hospital Violence

The Bucs won tonight in a wild game...last decisive play was at 0:06 seconds. BUCS!!!! I love football. I just love it. It is a violent sport, but the violence is expected. There are rules to limit the violent damage. At least the NFL is taking baby steps to protect the players, albeit in a small way. Still, progress is just that.

I am going to have to post about workplace violence soon. Workplace violence in the hospital setting. No one seems to talk about this, but it happens. A lot. If it happened at Wal-Mart, there would be policies and protocols. If it happened at an insurance agency, there would be policies and protocols and probably the police. (Please excuse the alliteration.) If it happens at a hospital, it is just a part of daily procedure. I have been hit, bitten, punched, slapped and called names that would make a sailor blush.

I get bruised and bloodied. I get called hideous names. But I don't get shot. Patients with an agenda save the bullets for the doctors. Sometimes the patient shoots the nurses, but most of the time, they just Saturday Night Special the doc.

Any other place, this is big news. Hospitals -- just part of the daily grind.

Hospital violence. I need to think about this. And I need to talk about this. I have bite marks on my arm. Again. And this is an acceptible risk. Bite marks are all a part of nursing.

Physical injury and physical abuse isn't a part of your job. Why is it an OK part of mine?

Monday, October 25, 2010

I read a book about a Zombie War.

Max Brooks' World War Z is a decent read. You have to be good and on point with the premise, and you can't really medically dissect anything, but all in all, it is an entertaining book. I wish I had brought it to the beach with me, but then again, since Zombies tend to rise up out of the water (they don't need to breathe or anything -- and apparently they don't need to eat, either, since they can stay locked up or even frozen for a whole lot of time and be none the worse for wear, at least not for Zombies. I just don't understand why they have this compulsion to DEVOUR people? I mean, face it. They don't digest, they don't crap, they just converge on living humans and feast on the poor saps, who, in turn, become Zombies. Albeit Zombies with chunks eaten out of them, but they don't miss those lost bits because they are now Zombies, too. So, my question is: If you stick a Zombie in a locked room -- no escaping, thank you -- with a bunch human fodder, vestal virgins, people who vote for the wrong political party, what will happen? Of course, the Zombie will eat and devour and be insatiable and do what Zombies do, which is consume all of the human flesh and make new Zombies. Therein lies my question. These things don't digest stuff. They don't poop. So what do they do with all that intake? Do they explode? Or is there some sort of furnace action going on in there? And if they do explode, do the Zombie heads just sort of roll around and snap at juicy bits on the floor? Because everyone knows that the only way to kill a Zombie isn't to explode it. You have to decimate the brain. People who have Zombie expertise know this, and it is kind of them to pass along such a useful tip. They next time I see a Lobotomizer at the flea market, you can be damned sure I will buy it. I won't even haggle much...), it was probably a better "my knee hurts too much to cycle or even walk" kind of book. I liked it in a highly fluffy way. But it got me thinking about monster/ghoul/scary-stuff classification. Monster castes, or something along those lines.

Evil Spirits and those directly directed by the very bad guy in the inferno, are of course the upper echelon of baddies. Even the monsters fear them. Then, perhaps -- Twilight Saga notwithstanding -- vampires. One bite, one of them. Efficiency is commendable. Next comes all those classes of "Ghouls/ghosts/bad-things (I have no idea what these are, but they've gotta be above Zombies). After that is the guy at the bar with the thing that you want to call a comb-over but you can't since it is only 2 or 3 really long hairs but you're over 40 at a bar alone and this is what you get, and following them, the Zombies. I kind of figure, that if you're human and you live, they'll eat you. If you breathe, they will get you. They don't care if you're an athlete, a crack-head, a mother or on your deathbed. If you are alive, a Zombie will eat you. That's why they are lowest in the monster-caste. Zombies are the cockroaches of the monster world.

Yeah. I know. I need to get back to running. Geez. Still, not a bad read. Really. Good Lord, I need to run.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Just stuff, some of it really strange stuff, tho:

Sunday I woke up and my lower lip on the left side was starting to swell. Why? No clue. Took a zyrtec and went back to bed (it was like, 5am). A little later, the right side of my lower lip started to swell. Why? Still, no clue. Got a little worried and took a 25mg benedryl and went back to bed. 45 minutes later, my right eye felt like it was goopy, and I walked to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and the entire upper lid was draped over my eye. That soon spread to the left eye. Totally looked like Quasimodo, I did. I woke up College-Boy, who was asleep on the sofa, and told him that he might be taking me to the Emergency Dept. He just looked at me like he didn't know who I was. Soooo....couldn't drink anything, since my lips couldn't really move, and I had a hard time talking. Oh, and the twirly girls had a friend spending the night. Of course they did. I went back to bed, making sure I was sitting at 90*, and debated whether to go to the ED or not. Basically, I monitored my airway. If I could breathe, I wasn't going to the ED. If I could swallow my spit, I wasn't going. I have been to my ED. I never, ever want to be there as a patient.

Odd thing was that I spiked a temp to 101+ that afternoon. Probably a histamine response, but I was chocked full of benedryl. Temp didn't dip below 100* Sunday or Monday. And the facial swelling persisted. I went to the Urgent Care (yes, I have a doc, but she had no appts that day), but was told it was going to be several hours before I was seen. So I went home and took more benedryl. And woke up many hours and many bad dreams later. That stuff is not good for me. It works, but it works me over, too.

This evening I look and feel well enough to go to work tomorrow. I am a little scared, tho, to go to sleep. Benedryl makes me tangle with the insane, the crazy, and the completely out of bounds in my sleep. For an OTC drug, that dude is wicked.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anyone out there with a magic wand?

If anyone has a magic wand, please wave it over my knee. It has been just about a month since I hurt myself, and frankly, I am not a whole heck of a lot better. I still struggle with stairs, I still have a very limited range of motion, I still have a good deal of transient pain, but mostly, I still can't run. It is making me crazy. I am not a good sick person, and I am a worse injured person. I am going to be a terrible, crotchety, non-compliant little old lady -- I can see that train coming.

I go back to the Uber-Ortho in a few weeks. Right now my knee feels swollen, unstable, and kind of mushy. It locks up at highly inconvenient times. If things aren't appreciably better by the first of November, I am going to ask him to scope me. In the meantime, I am still cycling, still forcing myself to do elliptical training, and I suppose I will soon start swimming. But I had to stop the recumbent bike, because I couldn't get off of it. Literally. My right leg couldn't support my weight while I stepped over the bike with my left leg, but I also couldn't bend my right knee enough to step over with it. So, I was stuck sitting on the bike for 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get off. In a way, it was funny. In a way, it wasn't.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I can tell things about you

I can tell things about you by your hands, by their color and temperature, by your nails, and by the symmetry of the way you squeeze my hands.

I can tell things about you by the way you breathe, by the shape of your chest, by the muscles you use.

I can tell things about you by how you grin, by how you smile, by how you swallow, and by how you speak.

I can tell things about you by the the way you look at me, or don't look at me; by the way you answer me, or don't answer me; by the way you exist and interact with your surroundings or how you don't.

I can tell things about you by the size and shape of your belly, by your belching and flatus. I can tell things about you by how you eat, or by how you don't eat.

I can tell things about you by the size and shape of your legs. By their color, by their temperature.

I can gauge how much pain you are in by all how you act, how you guard, how you grimace, and by how you breathe.

I can tell things about you by the color, the smell, the viscosity and the sediment in your urine.

I can tell by the smell of your feces if you are bleeding or are infected.

I can tell by your sputum (the "hockers" we all cough up) if you are infected or bleeding.

I can tell by your breath if your blood sugar is off-the-charts-out-of-control. I can also tell by your breath if your intestines aren't working.

I can walk into your room and talk to you, observe you, and lay my very cool hands on you here and there. Nothing invasive, only observation and touch.

With those few looks, those few strokes, those few touches, I know how you are. I do not diagnose you, but I know how you are.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

School Pictures

School pictures are a racket. The poses are so fake and forced, and the smiles even more so. If you're at all like me, you can't be there to make sure hair is combed, collars are right-side out, and your children are relaxed enough to be truly smiling. Nope, if you're like me, you end up with bad, expensive as hell pictures that you are strong-armed into buying because what parent doesn't buy the pictures? Not buying the pictures would make me a BAD MOM. So, this year I sent the Small People to school with combs, brushes and directions to teachers so that the girls' hair might be presentable, their noses wiped, and eyes not crossed when looking at the camera. And I sent the check for a gazillion dollars.

Smallest of All, and Small One. This year, I don't think we will be bothering with the retake.

I like this post

I think I like this blog, too. I think he has some good insights, and he makes me want to really work harder at being a better mom to my kids. Anyway, he is worth reading when you have some time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Girl Pack

It's late, and I need to go to bed. Actually, I would be in bed right now, but I have a bed-space issue. And a knee issue. Well, to be honest, it's more of a both knees issue (yes, I fell again, this time it was a total "whoops" because I COMPLETELY forgot that my left foot was clipped in. I tried to stand up and over I went. The words out of my mouth would have made a sailor blush....thank God no one saw me. Just to keep track, I have a blown-out posterior cruciate ligament on my right knee, and substantial bruising on the left. The point of cycling was to save wear and tear on my poor body. HA!).

Small People sleep like puppies. They, for lack of a better term, "den up". I have the most comfy bed in the world (truly, I do), and when the small ones fall asleep on it, they entangle themselves -- limbs twined around limbs and blankets and hair and stuffed friends. Its kind of hard to figure out where one twirly-girl begins and where the other one ends. Moving them when they are deeply asleep is challenging. I don't want to completely wake them up (oh, hell no), but they are almost too big to carry now. One day they are little, the next they are not. Who knew that time went so fast? So I walk and whisper them to their room. Small One can't climb up to her bed when she is sleepy like that, so she gets into Smallest of All's bed. Smallest of All gets into her bed with Small One, and after some fidgeting and fussing, they are tangled up again. They are back pocket children, my daughters. That is where they live, in each others' back pocket. They may bicker and tattle, but at night, when they shed the intrusions of the day, the Small Ones entangle and entwine. They den up, because they are a pack.

God help me when the hormones kick in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tomorrow I go to the doctor

Let me clarify. Tomorrow I go to the Clinic to see the uber-ortho's PA. She is, by all accounts, an active runner-biker-spinner-and-whatever else kinda woman. She will get me. She will understand about my need to move and sweat and, well, sweat and move.

So, I got this bike. I got the bike to help with my chronic running "-itis" (plantar fasciitis, ITB, tendonitis on the top of my foot or in my hip....), and the biking thing is working. Biking takes a lot more time than running, but it is fun. The best part is, I can keep running -- not far lately, but that's ok, I don't need to grind out miles right now -- without making the "itis" worse.

So, now that I am cycling, I decided that I need to be as hard-core, and as badass as all the other serious cyclers. Everyone I talked to said I needed to have pedals and clips, and so I got pedals and fancy clippy shoes. The guys at AJ's Bikes and Boards took two hours to tune and fit me to my bike. We practiced clipping in and out on the trainer. I was instructed and re-instructed. I was taught and coached. They covered all that I could absorb. AJ's rocks.

So, I got home and after a bit, took my bike with her new pedals for a spin. I stopped. Could I clip out? Nope. I spilled. Nothing major, I just kinda plopped over. No blood, minor knee scraping. But when I stood up -- whoa. Problem. And so, I tried again. And I fell again. And my right knee cried "UNCLE!!" and I quit for the day.

So, I made dinner, drank some wine and tried to sleep. Problem. My right knee bothered me every time I moved. I had wrapped it in ice, and taken a few ibuprofen, but they didn't help. At all.

So, I got up the next morning and waited for the babysitter to get there. And then I rode 42 miles. Ron at AJ's said that you have approximately 5,000 pedal strokes an hour at 18-19mph. I felt every 10,000+ of them. But now I know how to clip out (in advance, thank you). Afterwards, I didn't have an increase in pain, just swelling and stiffness.

So, I fell on Friday, cycled a long way on Saturday, gave blood on Sunday, and did the elliptical for almost an hour on Monday. The swelling is impressive but the pain?? Eh, more of a really annoying ache. My concern is that 13 hours on my feet at work will make that ache more than annoying. Oh, and stairs. I can't seem to manage stairs that well. Up or down. And, to be honest, getting in and out of the car is kind of hard. My right knee just really doesn't want to bend. And if I accidentally turn it sideways, I have to cry for a minute. 13 hours on my feet isn't looking like much fun.

So, tomorrow I see the doc. I am thinking torn lateral meniscus. That is an easy repair, so that must be what I have.

So, when this drama is over, I am totally thinking about the Run with Donna marathon in Jacksonville in February. But this isn't over yet, and I don't want to think about surgery and all of it friends. But I have to think about something, and I have to have a goal, so I am thinking about a winter marathon and Jacksonville fits. Or maybe Miami.

So, I am going to have a glass of wine and go to bed. Again. And try to sleep. Again.

I like this song. It always makes me smile, even if it is kinda prepubescent. You gotta give up the hardcore somewhere... Toca. So cool. Yep.

Alone at night kinda song

And this

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Living In Bed

I spent the weekend in bed. Alone. I finished "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" ( about a book that could have used a better edit), and then started and finished the next one in the series.

After I delivered the Small People to school on Friday, I repaired to my bedroom, (how E Dickonsonian of me). I had the book that I wanted to finish, some small amount of wine and a bag of lettuce in the fridge.

The grand agenda for this misbegotten weekend was to run and bike and run and bike.

I left the house once to go to the grocery and liquor stores. Who knew that vodka and farm fresh lemonade was so delightful?

I spent the weekend cloistered in my bedroom. I could have had my lover with me, but I didn't have it within me to be giving and available. It concerns me that I can miss my Small People so much that I can shut the normal side of me down and take up an almost reverent relationship with books. I am a person who does things. But sometimes I am paralyzed. I hate it when the kids are gone weekend after weekend after weekend. I hate it when I get letter after letter (forwarded by my attorney) castigating me as a mother. The fact is, we are solid my my little household, even if I don't run. We. Are. Solid.

Appointment Guy is getting ready to retire and is always on vacation. I suppose that I need a new Appointment Guy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Still here

It has been nigh on a month since I have posted. Things have simply gotten away from me. The last six weeks were blinked away via one crisis or another, none of which have to directly do with me or my little family. For once, we are all okay. Yeah, I am behind on school forms and sign-ups for various things for the Small People. Yeah, I am frantically doing the online book gathering thing (gotta love for cheap college texts) for College Boy. But all in all, my little household is on solid ground. Baby-sitting Goddesses are back and homework schedules and after-school stuff have been discussed. All in all, our keel is even.

My crises are at work and in my expanded family. All of these are salvos into my little village of Sarah. So far none is a direct hit. I never feel stable, but lately I feel solid. And competent. And centered. It is hard to describe. All of these incoming issues will get exponentially worse before they get better, without a doubt. The storm is coming; I am just now seeing the wind in the leaves. I know a hurricane when I see one. Landfall will come, and there will be disaster. But there won't be disaster in my house. There will be tears, I am certain, and gut-wrenching sadness and anger. But when it comes down to the very cellar of basic, my little family is strong. We are a family as families should be. I didn't grow up this way, the opposite, in fact. Still, College-Boy loves his Mama and the Small People. They love him, and they love me. And I, I -- well, there aren't words. We are waiting for Soldier-Boy to rejoin us. He may, or he may not, but he is with us. There is no negating love.

I have been a bike-slut more than I have been a runner lately. Seems to me, though, that biking helps my running, if for no other reason than my feet feel better. I am trying to decide on a new marathon. Winter in Florida gives me a bunch of races to choose from. I am looking at Miami, but it might be too big. I like smaller races -- I get intimidated by crowds. I have run Jacksonville (sub 4, thank you), but am looking at the Run with Donna race there. Might be too big. Lots to ponder. This biking thing tho.....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally, the Hospital Spoke

One and a half months of "bad outcomes". A cutter who cuts and cuts and cuts at all hours and all times seemingly without prejudice and without insight, who refuses help from the vastly more experienced. A surgeon who is a ghost everywhere but in the OR. A floor, a unit left to mop up the mess. An unusually slow day followed by a day with a suddenly and unexpectedly cleared surgical schedule. Chaos with patients -- operate on them or feed them, but please don't do neither. The next day, waiting, watching, a patient goes down for surgery and then...nothing. Whispers become words which become sighs of relief. 8 hours later, service is shifted to others. I am nearly crying my thanks that my dear, sweet, independent 91 year old patient will have his surgery and will probably have a "good outcome".

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How Do You Mother Girls?

Really, how do you be a good mother to girls when there isn't a constant male influence around? My small people get brushed by male influences here and again (much older brothers who are chasing their own futures and the man who is off and on in my life), but for the most part, what they get is me. They get my good and my not so good; they get my great but they also get my crazy. Small One reminds me that Appointment Guy told me not to worry about what I can't control. My 9 year old remembers to ground me. I can't decide if that is great or if it sucks.

None the less, we march on. We know how to grill. We know how to change car tires and how to fix toilets (sort of). We remember trash day and recycling day most of the time. We do pedicures and manicures and fashion shows. We applaud each other with our successes and commiserate after our failures. The small people bicker and fuss. I try to mediate that, but if that doesn't work, I send them to opposite corners. There is a lot of estrogen in my household, and lordy lordy, that estrogen level is going nowhere but up. Small One has her first training bra. It isn't physically necessary, but her little self is ready for that step. I need to mother these girls so hard core that they get through their adolescence knowing that they are fabulous people, that they are fabulous females. With or without males. The Small Ones need to be awesome people because they are just that.

I am teaching us to kayak. We hike and we bike ride. We have seen wonders when we are motor-less. Having dolphin playing with you in a kayak is so much more wonderful than having dolphin jump the waves when you are traveling in a fast boat (although the cool factor is totally there....Hollywood Dolphin!) Watching manatee in the bay next to your still boat as you are picnicking is priceless. I am teaching them to stick their fingers and feet and sometimes noses into the earth so that they can learn to be part of the big What Is. I am teaching them to grow things. We talk about what kind of garden we will have when we buy our house this fall. I am also trying to get over my fear of spiders and bugs, but that isn't going so well.

They see me sweat, they see me run and bike and work. They see me do all of the things that two parents do. And I can do that. I can work hard at a supremely intensive job. The Small Ones know how intense it is. They ask about it. We talk about it almost every time I come home from work. Does it surprise anyone that I am not bringing up a nurse? They see the hard and rightly do not see any glamor. They see me take care of all the things that Moms take care of, and they see me take care of lots of the things that Dads take care of, too. Because when it comes down to brass tacks, one person can really do all of it. Except the brownies and the cakes and goodies because while I can cook, I hate to bake. And I don't have a pickup truck or a 6-12 foot ladder, so that kind of limits me, too.

How do you mother girls? How do you make them strong and smart and resilient? How do you bring them up to be steadfast and almost, but not quite, impermeable to the crap that's going to hit them from every front? I have beautiful, smart, sweet, strong small people. I want them to come through these next years running, running balls to the wall, and emerge on the other side just glowing with possibilities.

We fed turtles flowers. Hibiscus flowers. Who knew that hibiscus flowers were the preferred treat for turtles? Small One and Smallest of All know that. I hope they carry that knowledge with them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Please don't leave the empties

Just so we're clear: When you are discharged from the hospital for "near-syncope", "falls", and "disorientation", please don't leave your empty wine bottle under the bed. Even if it is just one out of those little 4-bottle packs. Trust me, the housekeepers will find it, and they will bring it to me. And then I will be royally ticked off that I gave you as much xanax as I did because I was unaware that you were already self-medicating. (Although, finding that little treasure brought much hilarity to the unit, so I guess it was worth something) And know this: next time you are admitted -- and there will be a next time -- know that I will turn your belongings inside out and I will make doubly sure to do so after your "boyfriend" visits.

Please don't notice that I am not blogging about running. Yes, I have a relay to run in a month. Don't remind me. I plan on running A WHOLE LOT in the next 2 weeks or so...and I can say mostly with confidence that I will do just that because I will be (drum roll, please) on vacation at the beach for 2 weeks! I have 4 novels, enough for a week, I hope. I have happy small and not so small people, and I have sunscreen. And a lot of groceries that have to fit into my Honda. Bikes? Check. Bathing suits? Check. Beach chair? Check. Margarita mixer and some wine? Check and check.

I had two big milestones for this year, a goal and a treat. The goal was to train for and run a marathon. I have Bayshore in my pocket. The treat was 2 weeks on Sanibel Island. Oh man....I can almost smell the salt water now. 14 days of sun and surf and sand. 14 days of no clocks, of getting up when we are ready, eating when we are hungry and sleeping when we are tired. 14 days of no schedules. 14 days of "AHHHH".

A goal and a treat. It is going to be juicy. I can tell.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Divorce battles over children are exquisitely horrible. Even when the terms and conditions are spelled out so that a 1st grader could understand them, those terms and conditions fall victim to the vagaries of someone with a grudge and an agenda.

I would post more about this tonight, but all I have in my arsenal is hate and vitriol. And I chose not to go there.

KT was supposed to be with me today. She was not. I am sad, and I am sure that she is sad, too.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My heart is decorated with freckles.

(This video is for KT, who turns 9 on 8/1. She is one of the coolest people I have ever met, and she has constellations on her face, esp in the FL summer. I adore her, and if you had 5 minutes with her, you would adore her too. She is like that.)

16 days. 16 nights. Tomorrow will be 17 days and nights -- 17 long days and nights since I have seen or heard or smelled the small people. The first week is tolerable. The second week is a downward spiral into what amounts to severe homesickness. But to start a third week, and then have that third week linger on. It is almost more than I can stand. Guerrilla-divorce is hard on the person who isn't particularly combative. But, it is beyond hard on the non-enemy non-combatants. My small people suffer, and I cannot fix it. As hard as it is for me to go almost 3 weeks without contact, it is worse for them. I can't think about it too much, because if I do, I will get sucked into an angry and vengeful place, and then I won't be much good to the small people when they do come home. And trust me, they will need A LOT of good.

Sunday is KT's 9th birthday. She wants a skateboard. She has already suffered a broken wrist and a broken arm because she is a kid who can do anything and isn't afraid to test her limits. Monkey bars at 4? Kersplat. Broken wrist. (Didn't stop her from doing them with a cast.) Rock wall at the Y? Kersplat--that one was ugly. 6 weeks in a cast. Not long after, she wants me to watch her as she is screaming down the street on her bike, one leg over the handlebar, one arm thrown about her head, face to the sky. She survived. I took a xanax.

So, this year for her birthday, she wants a skateboard. Almost everyone who I tell this to says "Oh God! Don't do it!" But I will. I will take her out and get her a skateboard (and its friends, the helmet, et al). And I will put her out on the street and let her ride. She might end up just riding up and down the street. She might end up needing to go to a skateboard park. She is a kid who can do things, and she is a girl who is fearless. I choose to enable that part of her. I choose to let her be hardcore before she knows what hardcore is. I choose to let her explore the boundaries, and to push those limits. I choose to not snuff out whatever fire she has.

KT is one of those special people that you don't run into often. She is smart and intuitive. She is, as more than one of her teachers has said, the sweetest of the sweet. She is gentle and kind and loves all living creatures. Like so many pre-teens, she wants to be a veterinarian. She takes care of her little sister in ways that I can't. She will also shove you into the wall so that she is first down the stairs. She pouts when she doesn't win, but she tries to win (any and everything) at all costs. But, she is one of the best people that I know. And I am glad that God gave her to me, because she is just so cool.

Monday, July 26, 2010

This thing called "cycling".

So, I bought a road bike, and all of her friends, which set me back close to 2K. I bought a bike because my feet are just about ruined. I have chronic PF. I have chronic ITB issues. And, after this last training cycle and marathon, I have a chronic tendonitis on the TOP of my right foot. And in my right ankle. Walking hurts, almost all of the time. Advil helps, but not that much. I just don't know how to fix this.

(Digression: I don't mind getting older. I don't mind that I LOOK older. I have earned this face. I have come through the worst of storms and I have survived. If my face shows strength and resilience, I am okay with that. If my face shows a hard life, but also great love and levity, I am okay with that, too. What once was north is now heading south. I am getting ready to kiss 50. I can run marathons. I work hard and I save lives. I don't need to be 30 anymore. I am old enough that I no longer have to answer to anyone, nor do I have to put up with anyone's abuse, which include patients. What I really DO mind and what really ticks me off is that my body no longer responds or recovers like it used to. I have as much desire and drive to run hard and long and as fast as possible, but my body just can't answer the challenge. It makes me angry. I used to run a 20 miler, take a day off, and would be ready to run again. But, it isn't working like that now. I hurt. I limp. And sometimes, after a long run, or even after a sorta-long run, I dread walking down the hall to check on a patient. It gives me a new understanding into the complaints of my grumpy old people. And I HATE it.)

So. I ran 4 miles today in the mid-day heat. I ran late because I worked late...vicious cycle. Anyway, I ran. Pink Shuffle is having issues...I don't know whether it is worth it getting in line at Apple to fix her, or if just buying a new shuffle is better. Still, I love her, so getting her fixed is probably the best option. After my run, I did a few things in the house but then got a wild hair and went cycling.

I cycled the Van Fleet Trail for the second time. I didn't start until 5:30p, but it was a great time to start. I saw more gopher turtles than I could count. Apparently, 6-7 is gopher turtle dinner time. I saw doe and fawns, on the way out and on the way back...must be a deer crossing! I chose not to ride over a bunch of snakes. No gators, but I didn't stop to look. All in all, 30 miles riding the flats at about 17 mph. I don't know if that is fast or far. I do know that I was ready to quit at 28 miles, which meant that I had to ride the last ones really hard.

This cycling thing is fun. It isn't running, but if it helps save my poor, aging chassis, I am all for it. I am not sure, though, if it counts as real exercise. Still, it is sexy in its own fast way.

My bike is a SHE. And she needs a name. I will have to think about it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Empty In Here.

The AC just kicked in. I can say this for certainty, because I heard it. The reason that I heard it is because I am home alone. Small People are with their father. College Boy is "visitin" a college-buddy. Soldier-son still isn't talking to me. And so I hear the AC kick in, because there isn't anyone else's noise to cover it up. I don't do very well alone. My whole life is an immersion in service to others. I am a mother, and a nurse. My "modus operandi" (please check the syntax and spelling) is to take care of people. Tonight and lately I am a caretaker without anyone to care for.

I ran today. 5 miles. Ran inside because I slept in until almost noon. The reason that I slept in was because I worked well past my shift and got to bed really late. But, I managed to run. And then I managed to ride. 16 miles, which would have and should have been longer and harder but I started too late because I worked too late and slept too long. I am getting the hang of riding. Well, not really. I am getting the hang of wiping my brow when there is much sweat, or glancing behind me for traffic. I am a rider who carries fear as her wingman. I am trying. Really trying. My feet feel better, and so I can run a bit more.

I'm trying to get ready for DWD. I don't want my team to be as slow as it was last year. I can't fix much about that, but I can fix my speed and fitness going into the race. And so I am trying.

I hate the quiet. I miss my little (and not so little) people. This is really hard. I think about College Boy, and his insouciant smile. About how he says "I love you, Mommy". And how he means it. I think about KT, and her freckles and her sweet, sweet self that will do whatever she can to win at all costs. She is like that. And B-Jill. My satellite. My auditory ambien. My personal glue-stick. All of them are gone. They will come back, I know. But for now.......

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Song

Small people are with their dad for 2 weeks. College boy is out of town. It is quiet here. I embrace the quiet, the lack of responsibility. I loathe the quiet, the emptiness. There is no soft snoring, no auditory ambien. I can find things because they are exactly where I left them.

This is the first time in many, many years that I have been completely alone. It is hard, much harder than I thought it was going to be. You don't know how much you miss something until it is gone.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Doc Says...

I work with doctors and patients. Job perk or job hazard, you pick 'em, depending on the day. It is a lottery, a roll of the dice, always a game of chance. I know this. I try to be the stable place in the land of change and crazy. My head has been taken off so many times by so many people that it is now attached by a bungee cord. It is all good. That is how life is for a hospital RN. If radiology is hopelessly backed up, and non-emergent studies are backed up for a day, both the doc and the patient are angry and upset. They almost never express that frustration to each other. To a doc and a patient, they express their frustrations to me, as if I have any impact at all on the flow-through of other departments. It's the same if nuclear medicine, CAT-scan, or vascular access is backed up. Everyone is frustrated and it is up to me to smooth the feathers. I am good at that. I take what I can get.

I met a doc today that I had not met before, a podiatrist. He has been consulted on many, many of my patients prior to today, but he always rounded before or after my shift. He was known to me, but I did not know him. Anyway, he was consulted on my pt, and did his thing with me assisting him. He was funny and pithy. I was funny and pithy and I had an agenda (My PF, which is really bad. Really bad. I have a relay to run in a month....yikes) Told him about my PF issues, and got some good advice. He likes nurses. He likes me. Oh yeah. Gonna work this one for some good anti-inflammatory meds for my poor feet.

Perhaps the one really great benefit of being a hospital RN is that you have daily contact with people who fix people. And sometimes those people will agree to try to fix you.

I want to run. I love to run. I don't love running when every step really, really hurts all. of. the. time.

Totally going to work this new Doc. No narcotics, but hopefuly some good knowledge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Shoes

They finally came, my new Hurricanes. This time around, it took my boy, Donnie, over 2 weeks to get them to me. I broke them in with a 4 mile run on the mill (girls were with me) and VOILA! Little to no PF -- pain was negligible. Better yet, walking wasn't nearly as difficult the next day at work. Well, it started out being pain-free. I wore old running shoes to work, and by the end of the day my feet were on fire. Might have to look into old lady nursing shoes soon. Or those bizarre Shape-up things. Bah.

A second run, outside, 6 miles, in the heat and sun, and while I did have some noticeable pain and stiffness, it wasn't anything that I couldn't run through. Walking was tough for the rest of the day, but not as bad as it had been. So, I think that the new shoes are helping, and another new pair is needed so that I can rotate them.

That being said, I have made the decision to buy a good road bike. Running is my first love, but I think it is time to start spreading it around. I think it is time to become a sport slut. I need to start swimming again, too. But, fitting all of my roundness into a bathing suit and doing laps holds absolutely no thrill for me. Still, I suppose swimming is just around the bend. Anything to hang onto and improve my fitness level while not further damaging myself. Sport slutdom, here I come.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My feet are killing me and I can use a wrench.

I am waiting for a new pair of shoes to arrive, i hope, by tomorrow. I have pretty severe plantar fasciitis in both feet. It is painful to walk, much less run. So the running has been limited to 3 mile hobbles around a local lake. Am working the elliptical, but much more of that and I will be either homicidal or suicidal -- neither is a pretty option.

On the bright side (well, I am not sure that this is a bright side, but what the hell) I think I may be developing my own little testicle. I can now fix toilets, I can fix flat bike tires, I can mow a lawn, and I can take the tires off the kids bikes, force the frames into my little car, and put the wheels back on so that the bikes actually work. Next, I am going to figure out how to change the brake pads on KT's bike. The child truly needs a good set of brakes. I am turning into the queen of the little adjustable wrench. And although I still believe that the PROPER use for pliers is opening bottles of champagne, I am willing to admit that I might need more than a screwdriver and a hammer to get through life.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Admiral, there be whales here!!!!

That is one of my favorite lines from the Star Trek movies. You know, after Scottie beams a blue (?) whale on board of the Enterprise. Today, there were whales here. Well, not whales, but dolphin....lots and lots of dolphin. Big ones and baby ones all curving through the water. And we while weren't on the Enterprise, we WERE on rental kayaks, 3 adult women, 3 small people. It was overcast and drizzly and dreary. No one was on the water, except us. Moms and daughters, getting our kayak on, with no one to keep us company except a pod of dolphin breaking the surface all around us. At one point, an adult and a baby come up within touching distance of KT. Girl squeals everywhere.

You can swim with the dolphins at SeaWorld. You can do the Disney Dolphin Experience. Today, we got to learn how to kayak with a dolphin escort. The kid who wants to be a veterinarian watched as dolphin curled in front of her, almost close enough to touch.

Admiral!! There be whales here!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The nightly (sort of) walk

Most nights, I take the small people on a walk. Well, let me correct myself. They ride bikes, and I walk (only because I don't have a bike yet...working on it). The route we take is almost always the same. We cross a very busy street, which is highly exciting to small people. The element of danger, you know. (Although when KT crossed the street tonight by herself after I told her to wait, the element of danger was her mother's fear and anger. I doubt she will do that again, at least for a while) It is a really neat walk. It varies evening by evening. The road is the same. The bobbed wire fences are the same. But sometimes gates are opened, and small people ride and explore until they get too afraid to explore anymore. Sometimes there are cattle, and we MOO to them (always good for a laugh). Sometimes it is so dark that it is seriously creepy -- oak trees, Spanish moss, cattle lowing -- and sometimes the moon is so bright we can see the color of each others' eyes. Every time we go, the walk brings us something different. In daylight, it is a simple stretch of road; at night, well, there is magic there.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lock Down

I got floated to SICU today. I don't mind floating -- I don't dread it like lots of nurses do. Floating is a chance to do something new, with people who are really glad you're there and therefore are willing to help you. I don't have to float often, but I have done it a few times lately. Today I was floated to the Surgical ICU. Most of my patients come from SICU (bypass, vascular, surgical lung patients), and so I was given a team of two (WOW, COUNT THEM -- TWO!!!) post-op patients. They weren't stable, but they weren't crashing, either. They really weren't different from what I would expect on my floor. I was mixed up because the huge amount of paperwork was very different, but other than that, it was like cooking in a new kitchen. You know what to do, but you have no idea where things are. That kind of mixy.


There was a cop outside the room next to my little station. I didn't think much about it...we have cops inside and outside of rooms now and again. Why should the unit be different?


2 and 3 sheriff's deputies next to my little station. Lots of whispering. Hospital Charge Nurse there for a long, long time, talking with the unit charge nurse and the deputies.


The first meeting. After rumors are flying and people are intrigued and a little scared (like a ride at Disney, with the psuedo-promise of blood). Deputy and Charge Nurse talk about locking down exits. They talk about what to do if someone comes in and causes trouble. We leave with marching orders. And more cops seem to be around.

And then.

(Remember, I am floated to the SICU -- I have no access to the secure places. My badge simply won't let me in.)

We are told that there are specific threats against cops, against surgeons, and against all nurses who take care of wounded sheriff's officers. We are told to go to the CVOR (locked and secure) if things get dicey or if any one of us feels threatened. Or we can go to the secured (locked) break room. Or we can go to the secured (locked) clean supply room. I can get into none of these. If a shooter comes, and the threats have been threatened happen, I won't be able to have access to any of the designated SAFE places.

That is how I spent my day. I went home unscathed. I don't know what will happen tonight, but at shift change for me, all was quiet on the western front. I hope things will simmer down...I expect that they will.

Lock down. How in the world could this happen to podunk Florida. I didn't get drawn in by the drama. But, damn, I didn't expect a lock-down today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Ran.

I ran 4 miles today. I didn't start until the WAY too hot hours to run, but that is when I started. And so I suffered because of it. Was running kind of easy (is it ever easy when it is 95* and sunny with no breeze) until everything from my diaphragm down decided that running was the last thing my internal parts wanted to do. Not to be explicit, but it wasn't pretty. I tried to be there in the moment, but...that moment couldn't be run through, and so the living with it thing just couldn't happen. My 5 or more easy miles became 4 "gut it out and just be glad you're running" miles. But I made it.

I may just make the best fish tacos in the world. Yum yum yum. Truly. My fish tacos will have you not only kissing my feet, but begging for your mommy. Bobby Flay and Throwdown....come knock on my door!

Small people come home on Monday. I miss most the chatter of small people voices. The single mom thing is hard all the time. But it is hardest when the small people are gone for a long time.

Trying to run

I think I am going to try to run today. I have been having some pretty significant pain in both my ankles and feet, since, well, since before Bayshore. I think it is tendonitis, but being a nurse, I don't like to go see doctors, so I don't really know for sure. I am down to one pair of shoes that don't seem to hurt me too much, and have ordered a new pair that have yet to arrive. But I am jonesing for a run -- the last one was almost a week ago. In the meantime I have done a LOT of eating, drinking, playing, dancing and working, but almost no exercise. The guy I went on the oyster trip is lots of fun, but he isn't particularly physically active; I am much more of a boarder collie. So, today I am going to try to run. I hope that it goes well.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Keeping my promise.

A few weeks ago, I promised Appointment-Guy that I would take the time to fill my well. I promised to have more fun, and do more things that make me feel happy, and by extension, make my little family feel happy. Last weekend's trip to St Augustine did just that. All of us came home smiling and happy.

Yesterday, I ran into an old friend/beau. We went out for music and oysters, and we had a ball. So now, I am apparently going to be spending the weekend oyster-bar hopping, listening to music, and traveling the Gulf Coast before there is no more Gulf Coast left to speak of. By tomorrow afternoon, I will be in Apalachicola, Fl, where, according to my friend, they have the best oysters in the world. I don't work again until Wed, so I have the time. This trip could be horrible, or it could be ridiculously fun. I am voting for fun. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I ran in the rain today

I seem to be needing a lot of sleep lately. A lot of sleep. I got called off for my overtime day yesterday, and, aside from answering the phone at 5am and calling to see if I was needed to work at 9 am, I slept until almost 2pm. I never, ever do that. I simply couldn't wake up. When I did, I conducted the normal business of the day, but I was foggy.

Today, again, I didn't make it out of bed until noon. I know that this is really abnormal for me, but I also know that I had absolutely NOTHING to do today. Yeah, I prolly should run, but....and so I slept in for almost forever. Again. I don't feel well rested yet. But I feel more rested -- not so strung out, and not so edgy.

I ran 8 miles today. I ran Bayshore 3 weeks ago. I thought about that a lot during my run. I am still proud of myself. I am a person who can make it through all sorts of crap and manage to come out on the good side. I am a person who can manage single motherhood, a hugely intense job, and all the mundane but important issues of daily life and still run marathons.

I ran 8 miles today. I ran, so late, at 2 pm (the sleeping thing). And just when I was really getting too hot, it rained. I ran in the rain today, the almost cool rain. I ran, and it made me not miss the small people. It made me forget about all the work crap. I ran in the rain.

Everyone should run in the rain.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The thing about....

I could go all technical and talk about AV blocks 1, 2, and 3. I could talk about PACs, PVCs, SSS, bigeminy, trigeminy, couplets and salvoes, and runs of V-tach and all about afib and flutter. I can discuss all of those heart rhythms until everyone is sound asleep. But what matters is that I am smart enough to put an amp of atropine in my pocket when I see that my patient's heartrate is dipping into the 30's (no, he isn't an athlete). The thing about being a nurse is that sometimes you make the decision to put the answer in your pocket -- long before the MD tells you to put the answer in your pocket. And yeah, he got his pacemaker.

The best thing about being a nurse is when my patients ask me, at the end of my shift, if I am coming back in the morning, and the look of relief when I say that I am. When my patient, or the family, is visibly relieved that I will be caring for them tomorrow, I have done my job. My patients feel safe when I have the team. I am good with that.

Being a mom

Smallest of all (she is all of SIX, 6, and only has memories from the last 6 years), during the very late-night ghost-tour in St Augustine, was given (with the price of admission) a disposable camera. Disposable camera. 6 year old. Smallest of all said, looking quizzically at her camera, "Mama, how do they get the pictures OUT"? She had only seen digital cameras...had no conception of a thing called FILM. The thing about being a mom is that you get to laugh and appreciate the small little nuggets of funny. Sometimes the sheer innocence (not the gossamer winged "innocence", but the sheer lack of knowledge that is on the young, nice side of uninformed) of kids will stand you up, turn you around, and make you remember that the world view isn't cast in your own stone.

Small people are with their dad for 2 weeks. *sigh* It is amazing how quiet quiet can actually be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Making memories

My daughter is 8. She is the family photographer. She is gifted in a way that I am not -- she takes marvelous pictures! And so, I have come to realize, that while she is still in her first decade of life, if we want our lives remembered in photographs, I need to just hand over the camera to Miss 8. Right now she wields the family camera, but her birthday is in August. I think that I may just know the perfect gift!

This photo is of the lighthouse in St Augustine, Fl. School let out for summer last week. The girls go to their dad's for 2 weeks today. We thought that it would be the best of ideas to have a kind of "mini-vacation" right here in the Sunshine State. And so off we went. The list of things seen and done: played on the beach, climbed the lighthouse, swam for a couple of hours in the pool and then slept in the hotel (small people adore hotels). Next day: Castillo de San Marco, Lieghtner Museum, Flagler college, shopping, ice cream treat, Basilica de St Someone, back to hotel, more swimming, quick nap, dinner and late night ghost tour, followed by serious sleeping. Last day: playing on the beach, window shopping, fountain of youth, and finally the long drive home. Mission completed! Everyone had a marvelous time and everyone was completely worn out! Oh, no running. Took my gear, but I just couldn't bring myself to leave the small people alone in a hotel. I did run 6 miles in the ungodly heat today for penance.

One of the peacocks on the grounds of the Fountain of Youth:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Post recovery run...what's it gonna be?

Was worried about this run. I was in a considerable amount of discomfort after Bayshore, so I took a few extra days off. Today I returned to running. And it was good. Not fabulous -- I have some serious PF going on -- but not terrible, either. Got better as I went along. I didn't go far. The heat is becoming Florida oppressive, but I made my 3.5 nonetheless. It made me happy, like coming home after being on a long, lonely trip. The marathon was about searching for part of me. From now on, I hope that running will be my touchstone, and will be a reminder of who I am.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recovery Random

I am not running right now, and I feel only the teeniest amount of guilt. I did try running on National Running Day, just to say that I ran, but I only made a few minutes before I said, "Screw it", and I went back to walking. Maybe I will run in the coming week. Maybe I won't. The absolutely best thing about RECOVERY is that I have to let everything heal. I have to let my feet, my thighs, my calves, and my everyplace else heal. So, while I heal, on to random thoughts. Operative word there is "random".

Small people go to a charter school -- a technology school, one of the best in Lakeland. They are, as of this summer required to go online to a site called Kidscollege. They have a required amount of hours. We have one laptop. So now, we have one laptop and two new netbooks. We are so saying goodbye to TV. In another day, I will be asking them for online help.

Where to vacation? I have a 2 week rental reservation on a lovely condo in Sanibel Island, Fl. On the Gulf Coast. Sanibel is near Ft Myers. On the Gulf Coast. My vacation is scheduled for mid-August. Oil is washing up in Pensacola. It is now hurricane season. I don't have to make the decision until the end of the month, but do I chance it and hope for Sanibel as I know it? Or do I just go ahead and change plans and book a 2 week rental in NC or TN? Or Maine? Or, well, someplace else? What to do....

If you say in my presence, "GD MotherF", "you F'n nurses are F'n Dictators" while I am trying to clean the cellulitis wounds on your legs, trying to change your bandages so that your sorry self can heal, do not expect me to spend quality time with you. If you want to scream at me about how much methadone you take and how much you need, and how my Nazi-self is keeping it from you, well, I am happy to give it early. Just to shut you up. Just don't depend on me to save you when you end up naked at a local lake, OD'd. Again.

I can tolerate country music. That's about it.

I have a fire-ant bite on one of my toes. Totally allergic to them. Now my toe is swollen and it itches like crazy. Until I rub it. Then it hurts like crazy. The next week is going to be toe-hell.

When I buy a home of my own, I think I will get a dog/rug. I don't want a puppy. I want a dog that doesn't want to do much other than play with kids for a few minutes, eat and sleep. A rug. I love furry rugs. I hope that they have one at the shelter.

Next to smallest of all got her appliance thingy to keep her from sucking her thumb. She is almost 9. She has sucked her thumb since she was about 2 months old. It was a long week with much crying, sobbing and almost gnashing of teeth (overbite and crossbite prevents actual gnashing). But, mean as it sounds, surgery to repair her upper palate is the only other option. I chose crying over pain.

College-Boy and I get along pretty well now. Amazing is the change that happens when one actually tries to be a responsible citizen.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bayshore Marathon 2010.

The Bayshore Marathon is the most beautiful course I have ever run, for any race distance. The views are simply breathtaking. Just to have the opportunity to run on such a course was worth all the training, all the effort, and all the pain. It is a small race, with approximately 2,000 full marathoners, 2,000 half-marathoners, and 2,500 10k racers. There is no expo. There are no masses of cheering spectators. There is no post-race feast or beer-garden. You pay for the view, and it is worth twice the price.

Prior to the marathon, I had the worst case of Taper Madness in history. Twenty percent was real and physical (I did have a bad back and fairly serious PF in both feet, along with persistent tendonitis on the top of my right foot), but the rest was a bunch of craziness. I was, as most of us are pre-race, nervous and anxious. But this time, I was absolutely afraid. Fear is not a good look for me. It took a couple of good friends to kick me in the hind end, turn me around and tell me to look back at why I decided to run a marathon again in the first place. And so I did. I went back to the beginning of this blog and thought about the why, and when I remembered the why, I felt better about things. You see, I decided to run another marathon because the "ME" that I like best runs marathons, and I needed to be that person again. A simple reason, and a simple goal. Not an easy goal, by any means, but a simple one.

Friday Morning. Got the small people off to school, came home, finished packing, drove to Orlando and navigated the airport. I didn't get lost once, and I didn't forget anything (well, I did forget toothpaste, but hotel had some so it doesn't count). Got on the plane in Orlando and got off in Grand Rapids. I rented a car, drove north to Traverse City, ate on the way, and arrived at the hotel in one piece, which was a very good omen. I found my way to packet pickup, drove back to the hotel without mishap, did all the pre-race organizing and arranging, and was in bed by 9:30. Sleep was a different story, but I was in bed on time.

Race Day. The phone rang at 4:30. I woke up expecting to be teeth-chattering, bone-shaking nervous, but I wasn't. I had butterflies, and it took me longer than usual to get through the morning routine, but by 5am I was downstairs getting a bagel and some coffee, talking to other runners about race morning things. I went back upstairs to gather my race bag, and then joined a group of about 10 runners outside to wait for the shuttle. I had on a long sleeved t-shirt from an Orlando half marathon and my red gloves. It was, at least to me, quite chilly. The school bus came, and 10 minutes later I was in the start/finish area -- the track area of a local college. I sat down next to my first new best friend of the day, a lovely young woman named Nellie (one of my favorite people at work and in the world is named Nellie, a woman who truly loves me, and so I thought this was a good harbinger for the morning). We decided to start the journey together. Her parents found her, and so I gave them my t-shirt, knowing it would have a good home post-race. We made our way to the start, just as people began moving forward in the starting chute. Chirp, chirp and we were off. 10:24 first mile, according to Nellie. My watch was in the bottom of my race bag; I wore only silver bracelets on my wrist. Nellie put her headphones on, and we parted ways. Soon, however, I met my second new best friend, Suzanne. We ran and chatted for a couple of miles (10+, both of them). Suzanne had a 16 month old who was under the weather. She was looking forward to 4.5 hours of not taking care of a sick kid. I could relate.

When Suzanne and I parted ways, I ran solo, easing past people, astounded by the view. The bay was stunning...pale blue-green water gradually darkening to deep blue. My bay is grey-blue and green. To see blue-blue water was spectacular. It was still; the water was glassy. The air smelled of new grass and spring and lilacs. I stopped more than once to bury my face in lilac bushes. It had been 25 years since I smelled lilacs. There were gentle puffs of breeze. I was chilly, but not uncomfortable. I was glad for my gloves. By mile 6, however, I noticed people soaked in sweat and panting. I had not yet even begun to glow. The miles rolled along, and somewhere before mile 9, I met my third best friend of the day. I can't remember his name, but we played leap-frog for the next 10 miles or so. He teased me about my gloves. Actually, a lot of people commented on my gloves. By mile 10, I was taking the advice of a friend, who said to walk the water stops and to walk 50 steps a mile. It seemed like I was climbing more often than I was descending, which ended up being true. The course is advertised as flat, but to a true flatlander, it had rolling hills. Mile 13, up a sharp hill, turned around at the floral arrangement, donated my gloves to charity, chirped across the time strip, and headed for home.

I had no new best friend, and so I put on headphones and let Pink Shuffle work her magic. One minute later, I turned her back off. She is my training partner; and I now I had race friends. Mile 15, and I was juggling two thoughts: 1)this was the best long run of my training cycle, by far, and 2)my gut hurt, I thought I might vomit at any moment, and the balls of my feet were in horrible pain. And so I channeled my next new best friend, EB. I remembered to exist with the cramping, to exist with the nausea, to exist with the pain for that moment, because that moment became the next moment, which became the next. A few times dark thoughts flitted through my mind, but for once I gave them no gravity. At 47 years of age, I finally learned to ignore myself. Mile 18 and I met my fifth best friend of the day, whose name escapes me, but I thank her for the Succeed caps and the company. I passed her at the bitter end, only because she had stopped to partake in her post-race martini. In a Gatorade bottle...classic. And then, at mile 21, I met my sixth and last best friend of the day. Phil and I had played leap frog for a bunch of miles, and so, when we were not close to but not far from home, I asked him if I could run with him for a while. He said "Sure, but I am doing some walking". I said, "Great. So am I". And I was introduced to the Galloway method. I may be a convert. We ran and we talked, and at intervals that were a mystery to me, we walked. We passed for the final time Diesel and Rolly. We passed TNT runners (one more heartfelt "GO TEAM!" and I was going to have to channel my inner bitch). We ran companionably. I would have asked him to marry me, but he had a wedding ring on. I figured his wife might take offense. Mile 24, and Phil said we were at 3:59. We walked the requiste minute, and then I abandoned my last best friend of the day. I ran the last 2.2 in about 18 minutes, ignoring everything but my aching need to finish. Run and pass, run and pass. Looked at the almost finish clock. I could hear the cheering, and then saw the crowd and the finish. 50 feet on the track, chirp chirp, and I staggered into the volunteers, where a kind young thing dumped a bottle of water down my neck. I guess she was my seventh new best friend. I waited for Phil, who finished a couple or 3 minutes later, and got a post race "attaboy" and a hug.

Post Race. I picked my way, slowly and in agony, to the post race area. I got some Cold Stone Creamery strawberry ice cream and a cookie. I looked for the bag drop, but couldn't find it. I was totally engulfed in post race brain fog when I heard someone call my name. There was Nellie, who finished better than she had the year prior. And so I got my t-shirt back. That, however, wasn't all that I got back. Sitting on the bus, waiting for it to ferry us back to our various hotels, I was a marathoner among other marathoners.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It is raining

It is a Florida kind of rain tonight....hard rain, then soft rain, then some thunder and hard rain and then soft rain. Summer in Florida. I hurt -- shoulders, legs, and feet. But not my back, wonder of all. My bed, the kindest place on earth, beckons. College boy let me take him for sushi to celebrate his work and my work. I am sated and tired. I will struggle through work tomorrow, but for tonight, I will let my bed and linens coddle me while I listen to the rain and soft thunder lullaby me down.

Race recap to come

4:18 and some change. I haven't digested it all enough to blog about it, but I did it. No, I didn't make my pie-in-the-sky fantasy goal, but I totally smoked my realistic goal, and my kinda sorta realistic goal. And I smoked my probably not going to happen goal. I finished hard, I finished fast, and I finished upright. I thought that I finished in about 4:22 or so, but I forgot that I waited for a bit before I stepped into the stream of runners. I am 47 years old, and I haven't done a full marathon in over 4 years, and I still turned in a 4:18. I can live with that. I'll let you know when I quit smiling. Yay me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Leavin' On A Jet Plane...

Remember that song? What a sappy song. Anyway. I am off. I have my glide, my gu, and my glasses. And my running skirt. Some new Balaga socks, too. My shuffle is all charged up and I have remembered to pack my camera. I can't guarantee remembering to use it, however. Most importantly, I have my xanax so that I can medicate my way though my fear of flying. I have my car rental info, directions and itinerary. I just have to figure out what to wear today and then I can go. It is always the details that get me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ain't no way

I can't do this. I just can't. I am old and fat and tired and broken-down in too many places. What in the hell was I thinking when I registered to run a marathon?? I couldn't even run 5 miles today without walking -- how am I going to make it through 26.2 on Saturday? Oh.My.God. I can't do it. There just ain't no way.

When they write my obituary, make sure that it says, "Sarah was a nice girl, but damnation, was she stupid! She knew better, but she did it anyway, and now she's dead." And don't bury me with my running shoes on, because they stink.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I hate bananas.

I hate bananas. I despise them, really. I hate the taste, loathe the smell, and the consistency nauseates me. But they are quite high in potassium, and runners need that (so are oranges, just sayin'). So almost to a man, runners love bananas. Except me. They hand out bananas like government cheese at races. Bananas and brown apples. Yuk. Prolly will have lots of bananas and brown apples and all that stuff at Bayshore, which I am not talking about anymore. I hurt everywhere. No lie. I can barely walk half of the time. My back is killing me. 800 of advil 3 times a day is barely touching me. But. I will finish. I leave on Friday.

Had a patient this week who had a potassium level of 1.8 (very, very low). Yikes! Heart rate was a little erratic, but nothing major, still, I kept a close watch. I dumped lots of IV potassium into her through her little peripheral IV. And her little IV held up. Until it didn't. So I started a new one. And it held up. Until it didn't. And so I paged her doc. When he called me back, I asked for a PICC line (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter). I explained the situation (potassium is highly caustic and burns up little veins, and this patient needed tons of potassium), and he agreed that she should have a PICC. "Thank you" I said. "No, thank YOU", he said with utter grace. I understood what he meant. Three small words and I felt better about my nursing career than I have in a good long while.

Still not thinking about the marathon. Nope. Not at all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On judiciously calling in

Monday, May 17.

Woke up this morning at 0-dark-30, as usual. Clipped my nails to the quick, as usual (nurse thing). Showered, got backpacks ready, did all the morning stuff, and went to wake up the small people. Kissed KT once. I kiss her first, just to sort of wake her. Then I kiss Jillian a thousand times, because she would prefer to sleep rather than wake. After I manage to wake Jillie, I kiss KT again, and she is open to the day. But this morning, after KT's first kiss, Jillian feels like a branding iron, and her little cheeks are bright pink. Not sleep pink, but fever pink. She is resty, so I let her sleep. KT is not yet awake, and so I let HER sleep. I call in to work and then slip back into my sleep scrubs. 20 minutes later, when dawn was just breaking, I had both small people in my room next to my bed sobbing. They knew it was a work day, and they knew that they were supposed to be up before dawn. They thought that I had left them without saying goodbye. It doesn't take a heart surgeon to take your heart out and stomp all over just takes 2 little girls who thought they were left behind. Not that it has ever happened. Not that it ever will. But there is no reasoning with small people who feel lost.

And so I tucked them into bed with me, fever-girl closest, hand holding the other over fever-girl's head. Love can stretch over continents. But sometimes love is only encompassed in the breadth of a bed.

I ran 4 miles. Thats what the schedule said. I have a blister on my right arch....but I think those big bandaids are working. I don't seem to be raising a blister (and with it the new tissue, which is what I am really worried about). Am hopeful that I will form a callus. It is easier to focus on calluses than marathons.

Total: 4 miles

Taper. Could it suck more??

Sunday, May 16th.

This marathon is in jeopardy. I am blowing up at all the wrong times. I had 15 scheduled, and I had the legs to do at least most of it, but I was working on getting a blister in my right arch. Bandaids were helping, but they only lasted 10 of the 15 miles. I tried going further, but decided that the injury wasn't going to be worth the distance. At this point, I can go 26.2 or I can't. I will know that in about 10 days.

Blisters are innocuous, but they are still something that needs reckoning. I have damaged that delicate arch tissue, and I don't have time for repair and replacement. I have NOT, however, damaged the tissue to where the only outcome is repair and replacement. I was smart enough to stop running before I had a full-blown blister (and all the new virgin tissue below it). So, I may have enough time to form a small callus. I may be able to run with some heavy-duty taping and be just fine. Or I might just have to walk the whole damned thing. Whatever.

Other than that, I have PF in both feet, my lower back is shot, my right IT is tight, I am fat and I am generally bitchy on all fronts. I have patience for no one. I hate people who are fast and can run pain free. And I hate people who don't have to run at all. And sick people piss me off. Oh wait. I am a hospital nurse. Go figure. Taper. There is a special place in hell for whoever designed taper.

Miles for week: somewhere over 30. Who the hell cares anymore.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Appointment-Guy doesn't think that I am clinically depressed. Nope. He does not. I was working that angle trying to get some drugs. And I was doing that because I am not feeling better, even after the house closed. Even after the Judge ruled that yes, I was entitled to my nice check. And even after I deposited that check. I don't feel better. I feel....hollow. Empty. Not happy, not sad. Not hopeful. Just worn so thin that you can see through my soul. So I must be depressed, right? And if so, bring on the meds. Better living through chemistry, I say.

But no. Au contraire. I am not so much depressed as I am depleted. I have been my own little gusher of emotional giving for more years than I can count -- truly. Which, in and of itself is a good thing. The BAD thing is that for all those years of giving, I haven't, for one reason or the next, been able to put good stuff in the well. And now I am dry. I am sucking mud and trying to turn it into blue skies and lilies. I could keep it going when my feet were to the fire, but now they aren't anymore. Deepwater Horizon should consult me about how to completely shut down a well.

New marching orders. I will not precept any more new nurses. I love doing it, but precepting takes too much out of me, therefore now is not the time for me to do that job. I will not work overtime or extra shifts, unless it is to my personal advantage. I will go out to lunch with another adult every week. I will make time and make the effort to do things with other people. I will put myself first for a while. I will put myself first even before my children for a while (ok, how hard is that going to be??). I will do things that make ME happy for the sake of increasing my happiness. I will be cognizant of the need to fill my cistern so that I can again give to all the people I love to help.

Most interesting, and haunting. Appointment-Guy pointed out to me that after I left the devil, I probably thought that I would emerge with a life. Afterall, I had one in Raleigh. A fun group of friends who went places together. I had a fairly active social life, and a small close circle of friends. In FL, not so much. Abuse and DV limits interactions with others. So when I left, I had people to help me, but not many friends. And then I went to work, and was frantic for so long...not so conducive to cultivating friendships. Appointment-Guy said when I left, I found that all I was was alive, when I expected to have a life. They are different things. So Job 1 is to start making a life for myself. I started today. I skipped my 5 mile run in order to have enough time to go to the Tampa Aquarium with a newish friend and all of our kids. We had a wonderful time. Big people got to sit and chat at the splash pad while small people played. I feel guilty about skipping the run, but I think I chose wisely. I may not have put much into my well, but I didn't feel the blanket of fatigue at the end of the day, either.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Love notes

I write on napkins. I don't do it every day, but I do it a lot. I even went out and bought a huge box of colored Sharpie markers so that I could expand my napkin writing boundaries. My hearts are many-hued, but my sentiments are simple. I slip napkin love notes into lunch boxes, like a midday hug that makes small people happy. And once in awhile, like today, small people slip a napkin love note into MY lunch box, and I get that midday hug that makes Mama happy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thoughts on Nursing.

Nursing care is the reason someone is admitted to the hospital. If you only needed Doctor care, you would go to your MD's office, and be cared for. If you need more care than a Doc can provide in the office, you go to the hospital, because what you are really in need of is nursing care. It is a coin, patient care. It has an obverse and a reverse. Docs provide patient cure, nurses provide patient care. You can't have one without the other. What hospital RNs do is start the IV, draw the blood, give the meds, monitor the electrolytes and other lab values, monitor vital signs, notify the doc with lab/patient changes, provide educational and emotional support to patients and families, bathe the patient, do dressing changes, consult with social workers to make sure said patient has sufficient discharge support, call in ancillary departments should the patient need respiratory therapy or physical therapy, and if all else fails, run the code when the patient arrests in one fashion or another. That sentence alone would make you think that nurses are important. Cause when mama goes into the hospital, she will depend on her nurse. Not her RT. Not her PT. Maybe not even her Doc. But truly, the quality of her hospital stay will hinge on her nurse. I wear a stupid, goofy button that says "Nursing Excellence. I believe." 'Nuff said.

Mistake-Guy, that I recently dated, referred to nurses as "stupid nurses" more than once. That rocked my world. I am not yet over it, partially because I asked a doc that likes me tons, who respects me, and whom I really respect, about a blurb I read in a medical journal about doctors' true feelings concerning nurses (so not good). He told me that when he was a resident in NY, even the ICU nurses were severely limited in their scope of practice and therefore, docs just kind of discounted nurses. Discount the nurse. Discount the very person that is in charge of keeping the patient alive. What I do is important, and sometimes life and death important. Yet in my workplace, there are people who minimalize what I do. There are more than a few people who use the words "dumb" and "nurse" in the same phrase. It leaves me dumbfounded.

Last week was Nurses' Week. At my hospital, we were not cherished or celebrated. We were encouraged to give to several charities. No lunch, no trinket, no confirmation of the importance of nurses to the hospital. It wasn't in the budget, and nursing is always the biggest cost center in a hospital. I love what I do. I am always an advocate for my patients, in whatever form that takes. But the love for what I do may not be able to withstand the despair I am beginning to feel. I am not a stupid, expendable nurse. I may be the only one to believe that, tho. What I do is important, and what I do counts. I am one of the backbones of my unit. If I feel this way, well, how do the less experienced RNs feel?

Oh, I ran today. My foot is killing me and I am getting a blister in the right arch. Geez.

Total: 8 miles
Total for week: 11 miles.

3 mile Monday

May 10, 2010

3 miles this morning. I was supposed to do 4-5, but I didn't want to be late to work, therefore I only did 3 miles. I am glad that taper is starting. My legs are just dead. ugh.

On the bright side, I didn't have to play preceptor at work today. I got to just do my job the way I like to do my job, and not have to constantly teach, explain, direct, and all that stuff. And, I got to keep my charts all lined up in numerical order, which makes me happy. I am just like that.

Total: 3 miles

Monday, May 10, 2010

The last long run

Saturday, May 8th

I ran 20 miles. Except that I didn't. But I did run most of it, and I tried. I talked to myself, I cajoled, I made bargains with God. (Just in case you didn't know this, God doesn't bargain. I learned that first-hand.) I simply kept placing one foot in front of the next until I didn't have to anymore. I finished and it was ugly, it was awful, it was all those things. I started late, and finished later in the Florida sun. I don't think that heat really bothers me, but maybe I am wrong. My lack of fortitude is just that. I talk a good game, but when it comes down to it, I don't have much of a game to talk about. Still, I try. I hate that I have to take this last long run with me into my first marathon in years. I am a keystroke away from quitting. I can't do it. I want to make the distance in a respectable time, but I know that I can't and the thought just sucks the life out of me. What I ought to do is jettison the need to run a marathon as hard and as fast as my poor body can go. What I want, and what I really need to embrace, is running long for FUN. How many of us do that??? Why don't we do that? More importantly, why don't I do that? Time is just that. Time. This thing that I am going to do in a few weeks is important to no one but me. No one cares about my time. My result won't cap the oil well in the gulf, it won't fix the economy or the health care crisis, and it won't bring our soldiers home from the Middle East. My time in a race won't feed my family or put a roof over our heads. So, my goal has to shift to completing the distance while having a mostly good time doing it. Much more reasonable.

Miles: 20
Miles for week:46

Friday, May 7, 2010

12 miles on the mill. Intervals.

Thursday, May 7

Because I missed my run on Monday, I made myself run a little farther on Tuesday, and today, interval day, I added another couple of milesto my run. It is one of my OCD things. I need 50 miles this week. Actually, I don't NEED them (not like air or water) but I will get stuck on stuff like that. Anyway, I did 12 miles with 11 3/4 mile repeats. I ran inside because, again, I was house-bound in the morning with a puking girl. It is getting to be like shampoo directions. Lather, rinse, repeat. Get sick, get better, repeat. Anyway, I wasn't free to run until after 1pm, and man, it was already 90* and humid. So I chose wisely like a grasshopper and ran inside. 2 mile warm up, 11 repeats, and a cool down. Done. The first 6 were kind of easy -- fast for me, slow for most -- the next 2 were kind of hard, and the last 3 were no-doubt-about-it hard. I made it though, and that is what counts.

Plus for the week. On Tuesday, I had to go to court. (Again. It gets old) New judge, as the previous judge recused himself. New judge gave us a 15 minute slot. New judge made his decision in under 10 minutes. Fastest. Hearing. Ever. Immediately after the hearing, I drove to my attorney's office and received a check for a very, very, very nice amount, exactly as spelled out in the divorce judgement. I rushed said check over to the bank to deposit it, but, in my hurry, I forgot the endorsement. Long story short, the teller and I were both cheering as she deposited my nice check. I now have the down payment on my future home in my possession. Wow. It means a lot. And then more than that.

Total: 12 miles
Total for week: 25 miles

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The strangest thing

Monday, May 3.

This is the last week (well, maybe next to last) of hard running before I taper for Bayshore. I don't feel well-trained. I mostly feel well-worn. My expectation for the race is simply to finish (the fantasy is to run fabulously and come in sub-4, but really, it is a fantasy. A girl can dream...).

I had 6 miles slated to run after work, but the strangest thing happened to me. I woke up Monday morning, and my lower legs were a little bit swollen -- puffy, like I had been standing all day. The swelling worsened during my shift (lots and lots of standing and walking), and by the time I got home, I had some serious (4+) pitting edema going on. That means that I could press my fingers into my shins and leave dents that were close to a centimeter deep. Not only that, the edema extended to almost my waist. My legs were so stiff and tight that I couldn't have sat back on my haunches if I had tried. I tried to do my six miles, but I simply could not run. I just couldn't. I had dinner with a friend, and then went to bed. In the morning, my legs were a little better, maybe +2 edema, but my face was swollen, and my eyes were so puffy. It was very worrisome to me.

13 miles later (well, 12 running miles, 1 walking mile) in the sun found the facial swelling mostly gone. My legs were less puffy, but not normal. I deal with patients who have swelling like this on a routine basis. I know a bunch of reasons why I might be so edematous, and I wanted to consider none of them. I took an OTC diuretic, and went on about my business, which was to help my children shelter a lost dog for the night.

Today, I talked to my ARNP. We are not worried about me having cardiac issues. My last EKG, showed sinus brady, which was expected. I have had renal issues in the past, but they were related to pre-eclamptic pregnancies. The swelling was bilateral and was almost resolved, so she wasn't suspicious of a DVT. So the usual suspects were ruled out. What came to light, however, is that I ran 20 miles in the suddenly-summer heat and humidity. I put forth a huge effort, and followed it up with 5 hours in the full Florida sun at the zoo with small people. I tend to have waves of nausea now and again during long runs, and post-run, my gut can't handle food. When it can, I tend to eat pretzels and the like -- things that are easily digested. What I don't eat is protein. What I do is beat my body up and then forget to replenish it. I don't do recovery. At all. My ARNP thinks that my piss-poor recovery caused me to have depleted albumin, which caused me to have such bad swelling. Moral of the story? I need to eat protein the day before a long run and the day of the long run. Most people do this. I need to join the ranks of most people. Duh.

Total: 13 miles
Total for week: 13 miles

Sunday, May 2, 2010

20 miles and a trip to the zoo

Saturday, May 1

My long runs have all been hard for me. I have yet to have one of those runs where I just breeze along effortlessly and all of a sudden 17 miles are in the bag. I have struggled with each and every long run this training cycle. Still, yesterday's 20 miler was less difficult than the long runs of the 2 previous weeks. I still had a "down" period between miles 16 and 18, and the first three miles were quite gimpy, but all in all it was a less than horrible long run. I started at 6:40, when it was fairly humid but cool; I finished 3.5 hours later in the full-on Florida sun. I am hopeful that it won't be 75* and humid at the start of Bayshore, and more hopeful that it won't be 85* when I finish. You never know, tho. If it is, well, I can't say that I haven't trained for that kind of weather.

I finished the run, hopped into the car and drove home. I drank half of a beer (why does beer taste good after a long run? I don't even like beer), showered and tumbled the small people into the car. We picked up a friend and her small person, and spend the next 5 hours under the sunny Florida skies at the Lowry Park Zoo. 20 miles in the morning, followed by 5 hours of walking in the afternoon. Gotta love it. The kids had a great time. Made it home in one piece, fixed supper, drank some wine and hit the hay. I woke up 12 hours later. My feet hurt today. Ya think???

Miles: 20+ a smoot
Total for week: Kissing 50

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Mama finds next to her bed

I went to change my linens tonight. It is a kind of ritual for me. Ok, it is part of my OCD. Don't laugh, because we all have OCD. In fact, I think that knowing someone's OCD is a really important and intimate part of knowing anyone. You can deal with that part of someone or you can't. Basic, stuff, really. Anyway, I was changing my linens, and while doing so, I saw the mini bed next to mine. A mini bed where none had been in the morning. It was made from a hot pink fleece blanket and was appointed with many lovely (read, all of my nice down) pillows. So inviting it was. Some small person must have made a nest and a haven in the shadow of my haven. Made me smile.

~11 miles in new shoes. My legs are tired. It is hard to run now. I run alone, and I am tired of running along. But I run. And today I ran in new shoes. It helped. At this point, I need whatever help I can get.

Total: ~11 miles
Total for week: ~29 miles

How to tell if your shoes are dead

Tuesday, April 27.

You know that your shoes are dead (and not just the first pair, but the second pair, too) when your knees hurt, and you don't have knee issues. Your ankles hurt, and you don't have ankle issues. Your hips hurt, and you don't have hip issues. Your back hurts, and you -- wait, I do have back issues, so strike that one. I have 2 new pair of Hurricanes ordered. They should be here tomorrow. I wish I was one of those folks who get 600 miles out of a pair of shoes, but I'm not. I get 350, maybe 400 miles, max. But I choose to do this, so it is what it is.

12 miles, most of which was accomplished by running, but some was walked. All of the above things were hurting, and I am at the part of training where my legs are just tired a lot of the time. I go up the stairs, and I feel the effort of my quads. I walk all day at work and I am aware of the additional fatigue in my legs in the afternoon. I am not a high mileage runner, and for the past few years have been a very low mileage runner, so the tiredness is noticeable. I am just at that place on the journey. If all goes well, I will log close to 50 miles this week, and over 50 next week. It is inspiring and intimidating --yin and yang. But, but, I have an ace in the hole; tomorrow, while I am being a worker-bee, saving lives and slinging pills, UPS will deliver a package to my house. In it will be two new pair of shoes. I guess what I am really saying is: Game On.

Total: 12 miles
Total for week: 18 miles

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I got canceled.

Monday, April 26

I got the call at 5:32 am. Belen, night charge, in her Tagalog accent said, "Saaaraaah. You are canceled today. What other day are you going to work?" (You don't get canceled for free, apparently) I told her that Friday would do, and I turned over and went back to sleep. Until 10:30. And then? I sat in bed and read and talked on the phone until 3pm. After that, I collected the twirly girls from the bus stop, messed around at home for a bit and finally went to the gym, where I staggered through 6 miles on the treadmill. Its official -- my shoes are toast. So I went home and ordered 2 new pair for under $140. Gotta love Donnie.

God looked out for me today. I needed to be canceled because my babysitters had meetings at school, and College-Boy had an exam late in the afternoon. So I had no child care. Again. It gets old. But, I was canceled, and for now, it is all good.

Total: 6 miles.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Forget about it

Let's just deep-six this run. Two bad long runs in a row would have me questioning all sorts of gods and deities and stuff. So...let's just chalk this run up to "LIFE CHANGING FRIDAY THAT LASTED ALL DAY" and poor hydration. I felt ok through the first 10 or so, but when I went south, I went south in a hurry. I was ok, and next thing I knew, I wasn't. I did, and ran, what I could, in the lovely Florida sunshine. I hope that my run-walk in Traverse City is as pretty as my Florida miles. Yeah, that's what I'm telling myself.

Total miles: 16 (dislike)
Total miles for week: 40.